problems in the gym

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From: Heyke Koeppelman

Pull apart

A chain of gyms is causing problems with a price increase. Members must give their approval through the turnstile. Here is a photo of the symbol. © Oliver Dietze/dpa

There are problems in the gym. This is reported by the consumer center

Soest – “That’s not fair,” say sports-loving clients who shape their bodies in the gym, fight their problem areas and work on their condition.

They are outraged by the email from their gym, which says they should also increase the monthly premiums on existing contracts. So the training will be more expensive. What makes members sit up and take notice is the message: acceptance of new posts results from the fact that they pass the barrier at entry on their next visit.

Some members are angry about this business practice and turned to the consumer center. With good reason, according to consultant Ann-Kathrin Quandt. The expert says: “Anyone who goes through the turnstile without knowing what that means for him, in our opinion, has not given effective consent and may still oppose a raise.” This is, for example, via the phone number of the provider or its possible website.

Ann-Kathrin Quandt explains what rights consumers in general have in this regard. Basically, the following applies: “Contracts must be fulfilled as concluded, this also applies to the agreed price.”

The consumer adviser explains: “A subsequent price increase is therefore not easily possible. However, many gym contracts contain price adjustment clauses in the general terms and conditions. This means that they reserve the right to increase subsequently the price. In order for such a clause to be effective and for the studio to be able to invoke it, it must meet strict requirements. However, many of these clauses do not meet these requirements and are therefore ineffective.” Subsequent changes, on the other hand , are usually possible if both contracting parties agree and customers agree to the modified conditions.In this case, the company wants to use “central regulation” to obtain consent.

Ann-Kathrin Quandt also makes it clear: “A gym membership generally has to meet its payment obligations at the end of the contract period. If the contract is not terminated in due time, it is normally extended automatically.” If the consumers object to the increases announced later or if there is no effective adjustment clause, the contract continues in the previous conditions.

An extraordinary right of withdrawal for the customer does not usually result from the announcement that more will be paid for muscle building or fat loss in the future.


More advice against opaque contract terms can be found on the home page of the NRW Consumer Advice Center at:

Soest Consumer Center: Tel: 0 29 21/910870.

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